UNITED AUTO WORKERS
Businesses react to ruling against Biden vaccine mandate
For companies that were waiting to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court before deciding whether to require vaccinations or regular coronavirus testing for workers, the next move is up to them. Many large corporations were silent on Thursday's ruling by the high court to block a requirement that workers at businesses with at least 100 employees be fully vaccinated or else test regularly for COVID-19 and wear a mask on the job. The Biden administration argues that nothing in federal law prevents private businesses from imposing their own vaccine requirements.news.yahoo.com
Homeless man found dead near UAW building in Michigan
TAYLOR, MI – A homeless man found dead near an United Auto Workers building likely died due to exposure to winter weather. Taylor Police Chief John Blair told The Times-Herald that the body of the 47-year-old man from Taylor was found near a shack on the UAW property on Telegraph Road. “There were no obvious signs of trauma,” Blair told the newspaper. He was found by an individual plowing snow. His family has been notified, but his name will not be released, Blair said.mlive.com
85 years ago today, Flint Sit-Down Strike started, forcing recognition of the UAW
At 10 p.m. on the same day, following the night-shift lunch hour, the vastly more important Fisher Body No. 1 plant was also closed by a sit-down strike. The massive three-storied plant employed about seventy-three hundred workers and was turning out fourteen hundred Buick bodies daily.”Fisher Body Plant 2 was demolished in 1995. In addition to having triggered the Sit-Down Strike, the plant was known for having been the scene of a bloody fight between striking workers and Flint police. Read more:75 years ago today, sit-down strikers held off police at Fisher Body No.mlive.com
Deere workers would get immediate 10% raises under new offer
Union workers at Deere & Co. would get wage increases of 10% in the first year and 5% each in the third and fifth years under a tentative contract reached between the farm-equipment maker and the United Auto Workers union. The company and the UAW reached a tentative agreement Saturday that would cover more than 10,000 workers at 12 Deere locations in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas. Union members previously rejected a proposed contract that included immediate 5% raises for some workers and 6% for others, and 3% raises in 2023 and 2025.news.yahoo.com
UAW member hit, killed by car near John Deere picket line
A vehicle struck and killed a United Auto Workers member Wednesday as he was walking to a picket line to join striking workers outside a John Deere distribution plant in northwest Illinois, the union and police said. The man, identified as 56-year-old Richard Rich, was struck at about 6 a.m. CDT at an intersection near a road that leads to the John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan, Illinois, Police Chief Shawn Johnson said. Rich was crossing the Rock Island-Milan Parkway at Deere Drive when he was hit by the motorist, police said.news.yahoo.com
Union jobs? Ford's plan for new EV factories raises question
Ford’s blockbuster announcement this week that it would build four sprawling new factories in Kentucky and Tennessee by 2025 and hire nearly 11,000 workers raised a big unanswered question: Just how good will those jobs be? No one — not Ford, not the United Auto Workers union, not the future job holders themselves — yet knows how much the workers will be paid or whether they will vote for union membership. Three of the plants, to be built with Ford's South Korean corporate partner, SK Innovation, would produce batteries for 1 million electric vehicles annually.news.yahoo.com
Mask mandate returns for Ford, GM, Stellantis workers
Workers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis will be required to wear masks again regardless of vaccination status starting Wednesday, Aug. 4, per the United Auto Workers. The COVID-19 Joint Task Force – which includes the Big Three automakers and the UAW – recently met and made the decision. The change comes in response to new standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is recommending masks for everybody where COVID-19 transmission is high. The CDC recommends counties with “high” or “substantial” COVID-19 transmission rates require masks indoors. Michigan ended its statewide mask mandate June 22 and the mask mandate for vaccinated people ended May 24.mlive.com
Rory Gamble, Who Led UAW Through Scandal, Pandemic, Retires
Roy Gamble, 65, became acting president in November of 2019 just after a contentious 40-day strike against General Motors, and in the middle of a wide-ranging federal probe of bribery and embezzlement by top union officials.detroit.cbslocal.com
Former UAW president Gary Jones sentenced to 28 months in prison
DETROIT – A former president of the international United Auto Workers union has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for conspiring with other UAW officials to embezzle UAW funds for golf, private villas, cigars and other luxuries. The UAW represents 400,000 active members and 580,000 retired members in more than 600 local unions across the United States. As an example, Jones used UAW money to purchase over $60,000 in cigars and four sets of custom-made golf clubs for the use of high-level UAW officials, prosecutors said. Jones is the sixteenth defendant convicted in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into corruption within the UAW or relating to illegal payoffs to UAW officials by FCA executives. “Instead of serving the interests of the hard-working men and women of the UAW, Jones conspired with senior UAW officials to embezzle more than $1 million in union funds.mlive.com
Culture of Corruption: ex-UAW leader gets 28-month sentence
He plotted to steal up to $1.5 million in union dues, and the money he diverted was spent on golf clubs, vacation homes, booze and lavish meals, fostering a culture of corruption within the United Auto Workers union. Now former UAW president Gary Jones will have to spend 28 months in a federal prison and repay thousands of dollars for his crimes. Jones, 64, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy last year.news.yahoo.com
Former GOP Rep: My Party Didn’t Just Leave Me, ‘They Were Beamed Up by Aliens’
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyRonald Reagan used to say that he didn’t leave the Democratic party to become a Republican, the Democratic party left him. Former Republican congressman and NSA official Denver Riggleman was never a Democrat, but as more of a social libertarian than a conservative one—he got skewered by his fellow conservatives for officiating a same-sex marriage—he feels the same way about his party.In this episode of The New Abnormal, Denver tells host Molly Jong-Fast that his party didn’t just abandon him, but they were abducted by aliens, too. This guy wrote a whole book about Bigfoot (Fun fact: he went on a Bigfoot expedition instead of going to dinner with his wife) and he says the far-right conspiracy theorists perplex him to no end—and pose a huge threat of violence.Subscribe to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, or Overcast. To listen to our weekly members-only bonus episodes, join Beast Inside here. Already a member? You can listen here and sign up for new episode email alerts here.“The issue is these guys have such a bash sort of ability to reach people on different social network media channels. And it's almost like they’re mainlining these conspiracy theories straight to people’s frontal lobes,” he says.He even went so far as introducing the first anti-QAnon bill, which he says felt like he stepped on a “landmine of crazy.”Jacobin writer Luke Savage also joins the show to discuss Mitch McConnell’s fart-like legislating style and Molly’s burning question: Do Democrats care more about trains than democracy?Michael Cohen Went Down First—but This Trump Crony Should Be NextPlus! Zachary Karabell, author of Inside Money, explains why breaking up Big Tech companies may be more trouble than it’s worth—and why he disagrees with Elizabeth Warren on the topic.Listen to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, and Stitcher.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.news.yahoo.com
QAnon Crowd Convinced UFOs Are a Diversion From Voter Fraud
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyIt’s never been a better time to believe in UFOs. Barack Obama talked last week about inexplicable footage of unidentified aerial phenomena, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wrote about his trip to Area 51 in a recent op-ed. In June, American intelligence agencies are set to release an unclassified report on what the government knows about UFOs.For “ufologists,” long mocked as tinfoil hat-wearers obsessed with little green men, some measure of vindication may finally be at hand. But for many UFO enthusiasts on the right, this new round of UFO disclosures is nothing to cheer about. Instead, they’re claiming the new videos of possible UFO sightings are meant to distract people from Donald Trump’s baseless voter fraud allegations and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic.“There’s no doubt that this mainstream UFO disclosure push is offering a convenient distraction for the Deep State to turn our attention away from important issues like the Scamdemic and the election fraud getting exposed,” Jordan Sather, a UFO and QAnon conspiracy theorist, complained on social media network Telegram on May 19.Sather, who has griped that interest in UFOs has just become a way for left-wing “social justice warriors” to “virtue signal,” typifies the response. At a moment when longtime UFO promoters are soaking in the mainstreaming of UFO discussion, many conspiracy theorists on the right instead see the sinister hand of a global cabal at play.Conspiracy theory hub InfoWars often posts articles about UFOs. But more recently, InfoWars has started to see the prospect of extraterrestrial revelations as a deep state plot. In an April video, InfoWars staffer Greg Reese posited that the UFOs were being faked using technology from inventor Nikola Tesla and the Nazis, with the ultimate goal of faking an alien invasion to enslave humanity in “the most dire false flag imaginable.”In QAnon-heavy language about a nefarious “cabal” and a “Great Awakening,” Reese claimed that the new UFO videos were meant to convince people, wrongly, that the aliens are real, before vaporizing much of humanity with energy weapons.“We know the cabal has the will to do this, and it seems they have the means as well,” Reese said.The claims that an evil cabal is behind the new wave of interest in UFOs reflects the growing overlap between the UFO “disclosure” community and other conspiracy theory movements, especially QAnon. Believing in UFOs means buying into what Syracuse University professor Michael Barkun, an expert on conspiracy theories, has dubbed “stigmatized knowledge”— embracing a universe of ideas that’s been dismissed by the mainstream. People who have already embraced one form of stigmatized knowledge often find it easy to sign on for another, according to Barkun—going from New Age healing crystals to UFOs, or from anti-vaccine activism to QAnon.Inside the War Between a UFO Influencer and Alien-Friendly Streaming CompanyUfologist Steven Greer, for example, has claimed that other UFO promoters were assassinated by intelligence agents to prevent them from telling the truth about UFOs. But with the prospect of some genuine disclosures in the offing, Greer has decided that whatever comes from the government now is in fact a trick meant to hide the genuine facts about UFOs.“This is the ramping up of the false disclosure that we warned about,” Greer warned his fans in a YouTube video last week, claiming that the UFOs were wrongly being portrayed as a “national security threat.”Sather and other QAnon conspiracy theorists who have promoted UFOs are challenged by the prospect of more widespread UFO interest, according to Travis View, the co-host of QAnon-tracking podcast “QAnon Anonymous.”“QAnon promoters gain an audience by claiming that they have access to information that the mainstream media doesn’t,” View told The Daily Beast. “When major outlets report on their pet topic, such as UFOs, it’s actually damaging to their brand because their audience has been trained to distrust everything that comes from the mainstream media.”The idea that UFO revelations are being used to distract people has also been embraced by white nationalists in the United States. One cartoon that’s become a popular meme on extremist Telegrams channels shows slack-jawed UFO believers excited to see aliens who urge Earthlings to unite behind a single world government. Behind the scenes, though, the cartoon reveals that the aliens are the creation of a projector operated by a man wearing a blue United Nations helmet.The UFO-as-distraction theory has also gained more mainstream traction on the pro-Trump right. On May 19, Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson tweeted that the UFO footage was a diversion meant to draw attention away from, among other things, the controversial, Republican-led recount of presidential election ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County.“They want you talking about aliens because they don’t want you talking about Maricopa,” Robinson wrote. “They want you talking about UFO’s because they don’t want you talking about stagflation, the collapse of the dollar, the crisis on the border, and Biden’s mental health.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.news.yahoo.com
New Ford venture to build 2 electric vehicle battery plants
Ford is forming a joint venture that will build two North American factories to make batteries for roughly 600,000 electric vehicles per year by the middle of this decade. The deal with battery maker SK Innovation of Korea, announced Thursday, sets up a potential confrontation between the companies and the United Auto Workers, which issued a statement saying Ford has a moral obligation to make sure plant workers are paid union wages. The UAW and President Joe Biden have advocated for union jobs in new factories as the country transitions from gasoline-burning vehicles to those powered by electricity.news.yahoo.com
Spiking energy leads wholesale prices up 0.5% in February
The rise in wholesale prices moderated a bit in February after a record increase in January with both months being hit with higher energy prices. increased by 0.5% last month following a record jump of 1.3% in January. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)WASHINGTON – Energy prices continued to rocket higher in February, though overall wholesale prices moderated after a record jump in January. Over the past year, wholesale prices are up 2.8%, the largest 12-month gain at the wholesale level in more than two years. Earlier this week, the U.S. reported that consumer prices rose 0.4% in February, the biggest gain in six months, also because of rising energy prices.
Fiat Chrysler pleads guilty in corruption case
DETROIT – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, now part of Stellantis, has pleaded guilty in a long-running corruption probe. There will be a federal monitor making sure that there are no improper payments to UAW going forward. FCA stands for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which now is part of Stellantis, a company created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot. “Your honor, we plead guilty,” FCA general counsel Chris Pardi told U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. They are awaiting their sentences in Detroit federal court.
UAW President on Biden supply chains order: ‘Important step’
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday intended to boost manufacturing jobs by strengthening U.S. supply chains for advanced batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors. There are 12.2 million manufacturing jobs in the United States, down from 17 million in 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. United Auto Workers (UAW) President Rory L. Gamble released a statement Wednesday calling this executive order an “important step”AdHere is Gamble’s full statement:‘The UAW is working with and supports President Biden in issuing his executive order on strategic supply chains which comes at a critical time for UAW members, retirees, and their families. The Biden Administration’s review of key U.S. supply chains, including semiconductor manufacturing, electric car batteries, medical supplies, and rare earth elements is an important step. Over the last year in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, our nation has repeatedly experienced the pitfalls of offshoring critical supply chains.
Autoworkers face uncertain future in an era of electric cars
It also clouded the future for 50,000 GM workers whose jobs could become obsolete far sooner than they knew. But President Joe Biden has made development of a U.S. electric vehicle supply chain a key part of his plan to create 1 million auto industry jobs with electric vehicles. AdYet for auto workers, that future could be perilous. Factories will need fewer workers, mainly because electric vehicles contain 30% to 40% fewer moving parts than petroleum-run vehicles. AdDeWitt said auto workers could be retrained to make to electric parts and assemble EVs.
Autoworkers face uncertain future in an era of electric cars
It also clouded the future for 50,000 GM workers whose skills — and jobs — could become obsolete far sooner than they knew. But President Joe Biden has made the development of a U.S. electric vehicle supply chain a key part of his ambitious plan to create 1 million more auto industry jobs with electric vehicles. The more environmentally focused plants of the future will need fewer workers, mainly because electric vehicles contain 30% to 40% fewer moving parts than petroleum-run vehicles. At the century-old transmission plant in Toledo, GM workers make sophisticated six-, eight-, nine- or 10-speed gearboxes. Eventually, those parts will be replaced by far simpler single-speed drivetrains for electric vehicles.
GM hourly workers expected to get up to $9K profit sharing check
The year 2020 was hard, but GM left the year with impressive earnings, beating Wall Street expectations. GM made nearly $4 billion in the last quarter of 2020 and $10 billion for the entire year. Ad“It’s been absolutely remarkable how the auto industry has rebounded and how well GM has done through this,” Krebs said. READ: GM 2020 profit drops, but it makes $6.43B despite pandemicThough things looked bleak in Spring 2020, in looking at the numbers, Krebs said GM couldn’t have timed its product roll outs any better. “Everybody’s buying SUV’s and trucks and guess what, GM introduced a whole family of full size SUV’s,” Krebs said.
Despite COVID pandemic, GM bounces back with strong 4Q profit
DETROIT – GM’s strong-fourth quarter profit could mean good news for the automaker’s employees. 2020 was a hard year, but GM left the year with impressive earnings, beating Wall Street expectations. READ: GM 2020 profit drops, but it makes $6.43B despite pandemicThe automaker made $9.7 billion for the year -- $3.7 in the fourth quarter. AdIn 2018, UAW members received $10,750. The coronavirus pandemic shut down GM production for a few months, which is why Autotrader analyst and Cox Automotive automotive relations director Michelle Krebs is so impresses with what the company has accomplished.
Local 4 News at Noon -- Feb. 10, 2021
DETROIT – Here’s what you missed on Local 4 News at Noon. Despite COVID pandemic, GM bounces back with strong fourth-quarter profitUnited Auto Workers members are looking to get profit-sharing checks. The checks are estimated to be about $9,000 -- a grand more than what they received from 2019′s profit-sharing.
UAW on GM’s 2020 earnings: A testament to our membership
DETROIT – General Motors’ profit fell 4.5% in 2020, but a strong second half more than offset the effects of pandemic-related factory closures and a costly air bag recall. The Detroit automaker said Wednesday it made $6.43 billion as demand for its vehicles surged late in a year dominated by coronavirus upheaval. The United Auto Workers union called this profit a “testament” to its membership in a statement released Wednesday morning:“Despite a year of a pandemic and loss of production in 2020, General Motors reported a solid profit for North America. This is a testament to our UAW-GM Membership, who produce some of the finest and most sought-after vehicles in the world, right here in the U.S.A.”Read more here. AdLast year: GM churns out profit in 2019 despite strike, slumping sales
Morning Briefing Jan. 30, 2021: Scandal puts UAW under independent oversight for 6 years, new video shows Wixom man attacking US Capitol police with hockey stick
The approval comes one month after the UAW agreed to an independent monitor following a federal probe into corruption. Federal prosecutors said newly-released body cam footage shows a Wixom man attacking police on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. New COVID-19 cases have plateaued and deaths are starting to slow. Testing has been steady with more than 40,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate average around 6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 80,400 on Friday -- near the lowest it’s been since November.
Federal judge approves consent decree for independent monitor to oversee UAW’s finances, operations
DETROIT – A federal judge approved Friday a consent decree in which an independent monitor will watch over the United Auto Workers’ finances and operations for the next six years. According to court documents, “the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this consent decree through Jan. 12. The approval comes one month after the UAW agreed to an independent monitor following a federal probe into corruption. Within six months of when the monitor is appointed, union members will decide by secret ballots whether they will vote directly to pick the union’s future leaders. Union members met with federal prosecutors in June as a first step to bring reform to the union.
General Motors sets goal of going largely electric by 2035
The Detroit automaker's push into electric vehicles has gone into overdrive this year. By the end of 2025, 40% of its U.S. models will be battery electric vehicles. The company plans to include crossovers, SUVs, sedans and trucks in its electric vehicle lineup. It's also working with others, including the Environmental Defense Fund, to build out the necessary infrastructure to power its electric vehicles and to promote their use. It wants to be seen as a clean vehicle company, rather than a builder of cloud-spewing gas-powered pickups and SUVs.